Prep girls basketball: Fort girls down Waterford 54-43

BEVERLY – Two weeks ago, Fort Frye’s Brooke Borich scored 16 points in the two overtimes of a 53-45 Cadet victory at Waterford.

Saturday night the Lady Cadet senior guard picked up right where she left off as she tossed in 21 of her game-high 28 points in the first half to pace the Fort to a 54-43 win over the visiting Lady Cats.

Borich connected on three triples in the opening quarter and a total of four in the first half in a game that saw the Cadets lead from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer.

“You could tell early on that Brooke (Borich) was really feeling it tonight,” said Fort Frye head coach Dan Liedtke. “She was right in rhythm and when she gets on a roll like she did tonight she is a special player.”

After being held to just five points in regulation in the first matchup against the Wildcats, Borich surpassed that total in a hurry as she connected on a pair of threes in the first two minutes of the game, both coming on assists from Megan Liedtke.

After a Shawntell Parsons score off a rebound gave the red white and blue an 8-5 lead, Borich and sophomore Alexis Enochs connected on back-to-back treys to extend the lead to nine.

Buckets by Regan Porter, Dani Drayer and Taylor Hilverding helped the Lady Cats close out the first quarter on a 6-2 run to trim the Cadet lead to 16-11.

Borich kicked off the second quarter in grand fashion as she completed a rare four-point play by drawing a foul and making the freebie after sinking yet another shot from behind the arc.

Last season, Borich was the only non-senior starter on the Cadet team that advanced all the way to the Final Four in Columbus.

This year, the 5-foot-8 guard seems to be relishing her new role as floor leader.

“It’s definitely been a big change this year but I’ve done it before when I was young and I like the challenge,” said Borich. “We have a great team with great chemistry so that makes it fun to be a leader.”

After Porter’s basket on an assist by Drayer closed the lead back to seven, the Cadets went on an 8-2 half- ending run with six of those points coming from Borich to take a 28-15 lead into the halftime break.

A short jumper by none other than Borich opened the second half and after consecutive inside scores from Porter closed the lead to 11, Borich answered again with her fifth three-ball of the game to push the lead to 33-19.

“My team did a great job of creating and getting me the ball,” said Borich of her teammates. “That got me a lot of open looks and my shot was on.”

The Wildcats clawed their way right back into things in the third quarter as Porter scored eight points and a pair of baskets by Drayer made it a 37-30 game with just a minute left in the third.

Freshman Makayla Liedtke drove strong to the hole and then assisted a Borich field goal to send the Cadets lead back to 12 at 41-29 heading to the final eight minutes.

The Cadets have been solid all year long at the charity stripe and they made seven-of-nine in the final period to stifle any chance of a Waterford comeback clinching their 10th straight win.

“This is a big win for us. This is our rivalry game and it always amazes me the way these two teams go at it,” said Dan Liedtke. “It’s just always a great game between these two schools.”

Joining Borich in double figures for the 10-1 Cadets was Enochs with 10 points.

Porter led the way for Waterford with 15 points while Drayer finished with 11 points and three assists.

Wildcat head coach Jerry Close was pleased with his team’s efforts in the final 16 minutes but felt the sluggish first half proved to be its downfall.

“I thought we played a lot harder and with a lot more intensity in the second half,” said Close, whose team slipped to 7-4 with the defeat. “We played hard and we had a lot more girls step up tonight, but we just can’t dig ourselves such a big hole and expect to come up with a win.”

Both teams are scheduled to return to action Monday evening as the Cadets remain home to take on the Warren Warriors, while Waterford plays host to Federal Hocking.